BANGOR, Maine — A study from Brown University that scores metro areas based on diversity has listed Maine’s top three cities as some of the least diverse areas in the United States.
The Bangor, Portland-South Portland-Biddeford and Lewiston-Auburn areas all were listed in the bottom 25 metro areas in the U.S. based on diversity. Bangor was listed at No. 5, Portland-South Portland-Biddeford at No. 11 and Lewiston-Auburn at No. 25.
Beating out Bangor was Laredo, Texas, as the No. 1 least diverse city in the country and areas in West Virginia-Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee-Virginia.
The study scored the metro areas by looking at how evenly population is spread across five groups: Hispanics of any race, non-Hispanic whites, blacks, Asians and “others,” which comprises non-Hispanic Native Americans, members of other races, and multiracial persons.
“Communities with large populations, abundant rental housing, and a range of jobs are more diverse,” the study states. “So are those where the government and/or the military is a key employer. Locationally, diversity tends to be higher in coastal regions and along the southern border.”
Maine consistently jockeys with Vermont for the title of whitest state in the country. Burlington-South Burlington, Vt., were listed No. 23 on the study’s list of least diverse areas.